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According to research commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, almost a quarter (23%) of surveyed primary school teachers are concerned that they might not be able to answer children’s questions about science.
The research, published in September 2017, was conducted by CFE Research with the University of Manchester who took a stratified sample of schools from across the UK. Within each school, they interviewed Science Leaders, primary school teachers and pupils on their experiences of science education.
A significant minority of teachers reported concerns about answering pupils’ questions about science or said they lacked confidence in undertaking assessments.
Researchers also found that a number of factors influence teachers’ confidence in delivering and assessing science. One factor is the level of support they receive from their schools.
Support from school typically means: providing science lesson plans and materials, lesson observations and coaching or science training from the school’s Science Leader.
Amongst the teachers who had not received this kind of support in the last 12 months, only 13% ‘strongly agreed’ that they were confident teaching science. Compare this with 20% who had received support and ‘strongly agreed’ they were confident - and you can see that a school’s backing makes a difference to teachers’ confidence.
So what can you do if you want to improve your confidence, but feel you don’t have enough support from your school?
One solution is to look elsewhere for science teaching resources and training. But with so much content out there, it can be time-consuming to find materials that are both high-quality and budget-friendly.
A good starting point is the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET’s) new Faraday education website for primary schools.
The IET provides several resources that could help you feel more confident teaching science and create a more effective learning experience for your students:
All IET resources are free of charge and easy to locate on our website.
Get some extra support for your science lessons today – access our full range of primary school resources.
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